Abstract #139

Section: IVF/IVP
Session: IVF/IVP
Format: Poster
Location: Rio Exhibit Hall B
# 139
E. Mellisho*1, A. Velasquez1, M. J. Nuñez1, L. Rodriguez-Alvarez1, 1Universidad de Concepcion, Chillan, Chile.

Pre-implantation embryos secrete extracellular vesicles (EV) most likely to communicate with the surroundings. The objective of this study was to determine the distribution (size and concentration) of EV secreted by bovine pre-implantation embryos with different developmental competence. The IVF bovine embryos were produced from oocytes recovered from slaughterhouse ovaries. Presumptive zygotes were in vitro cultured (IVC) in groups in 4-well plates (30 zygotes per 500-µL well) using SOFaa medium at 39°C under 5% CO2, 5% O2, and 90% N2 until the morula stage (Day 5 post IVF). Morulae were cultured individually in 96 well at 39°C under until blastulation time (Day 6.5–7.5) in EV-free SOF medium. Culture medium was collected only from embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage that were classified in a group of early (Day 6.5) or late (Day 7.5) blastulation. Blastocysts were kept in culture until Day 11 to assess embryo developmental competence, considering embryo size (>350 µm) and total cell count (>500 blastomeres). For EV analysis, 4 groups were organised a posteriori: G1: Day 6.5-competent; G2: Day 6.5-not competent; G3: Day 7.5-competent; G4: Day 7.5-not competent. The EV in culture media were analysed using a nanoparticle tracking analysis (Nanosight NS300). Statistical analysis was performed using the InfoStat program (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Differences were considered significant at P < 0.05. Early blastulation rate (Day 6.5) was 40.3% (112/278), whereas late blastulation rate (Day 7.5) was 20.5% (57/278), showing a significant difference (P < 0.0001). Embryos derived from Day 6.5 blastocysts have a higher probability (39.3%: 44/112) of posthatching development [until Day 11; Day 7.5, 10.5% (6/57); P = 0.0001]. At Day 11, competent embryos (G1) derived from Day 6.5 blastocysts have a higher diameter and total cell number (447 µm; 688 cells) than those derived from Day 7.5 blastocysts (G3; 405 µm, 598 cells; P < 0.05 for both parameters). It was possible to detect EV from collected medium of individual embryos independent of their competence. Neither the EV size nor the EV concentration was statistically different between Day 6.5 and Day 7.5 blastocysts (without considering their further competence; 2.9 × 108, 147 nm; and 3.0 × 108, 149 nm, respectively). However, independent of the day of blastulation, competent embryos had a significantly lower concentration of EV (2.7 × 108v. 3.3 × 108; P = 0.03). Moreover, competent embryos from early and late blastocysts (G1 and G3) tend to produce a lower amount of EV (G1: 2.8 × 108; G2: 3 × 108; G3: 2.6 × 108; G4: 3.5 × 108; P = 0.05). Furthermore, EV concentration was statistically different between G3 and G4 (P = 0.002). No differences in EV size were observed among groups (G1: 145 nm; G2: 148 nm; G3: 146 nm; G4: 151 nm). Our results provide an initial approach to study the EV secreted by individual pre-implantation embryos to assess their competence. From these results, we can conclude that blastulation time affects the future development of bovine embryos and a model based on blastulation time and EV secretion could be a simple noninvasive tool to improve embryo selection.